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Dec 14, 2007 12:10 PM

Tamales Wrapped in Banana Leaves?

Can anyone point me to a good tamale vendor that makes the ones wrapped in green banana leaves - VERY different from the "Nortena" kind you find everywhere that come wrapped in corn husks. The ones we used to eat in Caracas made with dark yellow masa filled with chicken, pork, olives and raisins (sounds strange, tastes AWESOME). Thanks for any leads, either local SoCal area or mail order.

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  1. I've been asking for YEARS where to find hallacas navideñas. Hopeless.

    I'd take a plane to Maiquetía anytime, believe me, if it were not for the broken viaducto...

    1. Mama's Hot Tamales Cafe, on 7th/Alvarado near MacAuthur Park.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Renault78law

        The banana leaf-wrapped tamales at Mama's Hot Tamales have always left me especially cold. With the exception of the Oaxacan black mole tamales, the banana leaf ones Mama's sells are in the Central American style, the type with a mushy, flavorless masa that tastes like a wad of insipid gruel with boiled meat in it. Yuck. The descriptions may sound tasty, but the reality is only the corn husk ones are good there.


      2. The only time I can get these is when a student's parents make some home made. These are my favorites as well. If anyone knows of a place closer to Long Beach or OC, please tell!

        1. Taco Mesa (several OC locations) has them this time of year (beef, pork, chicken or veggie)

          1. the venezuelan variety? i dunno
            but gueleguetza on 8th and probably olympic has oaxaqueno style tamales with mole wrapped in banana leaves.
            (the arepa place on canon in beverly hills might have the venezuelan variety as a special. can't remember the name - but worth a try, )

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jerome

              Coupa Café ? They have arepas, no hallacas, much less hallacas navideñas.